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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Oct 13, 2010 9:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Grateful Dead Comes to Life - Fillmore East, July 1970

"Garcia loomed above the whole celebration like a warm teddy bear, firing out notes from his guitar as if it were a machine gun."

Some reflections on Tom Zito's column (attached), published on 7/19/70. This is the same guy who wrote the 3/26/73 review, discussed in a recent thread.

There's some confusion about which night he saw from the run. It first appears that it was the 7/12 show, which, like his article, begins with Dire Wolf and ends with Lovelight.

One clue is that he says he's reviewing the "first concert-at-midnight last weekend." But what does that mean? If he means the Friday show, is that dated 7/11 or 7/12? Friday was the 11th, but if the show started at midnight, isn't that 7/12?

In any case, I tend to think he saw both the 7/11 and 7/12 shows and sort of jumbled them all together for his review.

7/11 notably includes Casey Jones and a set-opening Dew, both of which he mentions, but doesn't include many other songs he remembered, like NFA or Lovelight or Dancin in the Street. All of those were played at the 7/12 show.

Further confusing things, some sources have the 7/12 setlist on 7/11 and vice versa. It varies depending on which database you check. I think the start-at-midnight issue is the confusing factor here.

Note that he says it was 5:30am when he finally stepped outside. But I'm sure those 5-and-half hour shows included lots of set breaks and projections of Nixon's Checkers speech! I love how he says the audience was too young too remember it. They'd have plenty to remember Nixon for!

This post was modified by snow_and_rain on 2010-10-13 16:01:25

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 13, 2010 9:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Comes to Life - Fillmore East, July 1970

Thanks for the clips!

It's definitely hard to tell which show he saw....the songs he mentioned weren't played in any one show (unless our tapes are incomplete, which is quite possible).
Morning Dew was the electric opener on our "7/11" tape (and it has the 'Night of the Living Dead' intro, just as he describes), and there was a big NFA that night - but Dancing and Lovelight were played on "7/12". (There are other discrepancies too - Me & My Uncle wasn't played acoustically either night. Wake Up Little Susie was in the 7/12 acoustic set, not the NRPS set. And you'd think he'd mention the huge Viola Lee from 7/11, which blew the audience away...)
(Our 7/11 and 7/12 tapes are switched, by the way; but that doesn't matter too much here.)
So there's a couple possibilities - most likely he went to a couple shows & didn't keep notes & just rattled off a few songs he half-remembered; or maybe (less likely) he went to the Thursday 7/9/70 show, which we don't have, and was the first night of the run.

Either way, it's interesting that in both reviews, he talks more about the Dead's past than the actual shows he went to!

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 13, 2010 2:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Comes to Life - Fillmore East, July 1970

"It's definitely hard to tell which show he saw"

no surprise there

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Poster: whirlwind dreamer 65-95 Date: Oct 13, 2010 9:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Comes to Life - Fillmore East, July 1970

anyone know where the sbd.of 7-11-70 is?? i know i had version of this viola lee on cassette way back when. it is probably my favorite version of the tune 18 mins of rockin dead. love to hear it again in h/q!! :) well i guess the aud.recording will do for now. :) great article. i believe but not guess is that they started shows at midnight cause others were on the bill/new riders of the purple sage

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 13, 2010 11:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Comes to Life - Fillmore East, July 1970

I suspect your 7/11/70 sbd was a mislabeled 'fake', most likely of 4/12/70...

Anyway, it might be fitting to quote Marty Weinberg on this show. He was asked why they started at midnight in this run:
"Just to be outrageous. Bill Graham said, 'Let's do something different.' They billed it as Midnight With the Dead...starting at midnight and ending whenever. Maybe it was Graham's test to see, 'Can we sell out under any circumstance'... There were lots of people there, those were very magical shows... I taped every night I was there. The last show there, that was one of the great shows of all time, and I couldn't record it..."
That show was our "7/11/70" show - where they showed the Checkers speech between sets, and started the electric set with the Night of the Living Dead clip into Morning Dew...

Marty said: "When they ended the show, there was light coming in through the windows, because it was in the summer and it was about five in the morning. And they ended the show with Viola Lee Blues, which they didn't play very much. It was a rare thing to hear them play that...typically, it was a dirge kind of thing - they started it off very slowly, it was really plodding; and they reached that point in it where it's totally John Coltrane, out of control... They had one of those mirrored balls hanging from the center of the Fillmore, maybe twenty feet above the audience - they lowered it down and it was turning, and when the music was totally out of control, and the theater was pretty dark, and the atmosphere was just berserk, they turned the large lighting units on, all pointing towards that ball. There was no other lighting, just laser beams flashing around. And I remember looking up, cause everyone's going crazy, thinking, 'It doesn't get any better than this. There's nothing these guys are ever going to do that will equal this moment in terms of sheer emotional intensity.' And the guys in the band were looking out at this scene; you could barely see them, it was pretty dark. I'm thinking, 'You know, they're enjoying this, too...this is not just a group of guys playing for us.' The feeling was magical - so that show was amazing, it was a wonderful show."

The mirrorball, alas, doesn't come with the tape - but you can still hear the audience going nuts...

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Poster: KennyG_NYC Date: Dec 8, 2010 7:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Comes to Life - Fillmore East, July 1970

Hey,,,being at that show(my first dead show) your commentary was amazing and filled in gaps for me. Just wanted to bring to your attention a few things I remember. That midnight show came about as a result of the Dead being scheduled to play that afternoon at the upstate NY Mountaindale festival. However, that festival was cancelled somewhat last minute and the midnight hour start was kept.
The show itself was a true happening. The dead were big but their popularity was still somewhat manageable. I remember people face painting in the lobby, passing joints freely in their seats and from what I could tell(and see), the majority of the room was reasonably dosed on acid.
I remember the Night of the Living Dead montage. It was mind blowing and when they hit the bottom note for Morning Dew, the place shook and people screamed in ecstasy.
I do remember the intensity of Viola Lee Blues with the music and light show hitting fever pitch and I was right below the mirrored ball as it descended.
When they finished out the night by playing Uncle Johns Band, the Fillmore staff opened the exit doors and with a picture of the rising sun on the light show screen we also were treated to the morning sunlight streaming in as they played. People were jumping out of their skulls.
An interesting note was that we had parked our car over by Avenue A , near Tompkins Sq park. As we drove away, we past PigPen and Micky Hart, stopping to buy some fruit from a street vendor. People were yelling out to them and throwing joints from their cars.. QUITE A NIGHT

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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Oct 14, 2010 12:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Grateful Dead Comes to Life - Fillmore East, July 1970

The Viola Lee Blows My Mind. Thats all I will say right now, until I regain control of senses and things real. Carry On...